Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 26, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
IO The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Mon.. Aug. 26. 1974
Jim Garner Doesn’t Worry About Image
Bv Marilyn Beek
When he started in the business. he felt he would be lucky to earn a good living as an actor for five to seven years
He’s been at it now for nearly two decades and sometimes finds himself thinking. “James Garner, you are a lucky man — God. an* you ever lucky!”
He says he honestly doesn’t know the reason for such luck, why his star has grown consistently brighter while other TV personalities with whom he once shared dressing rooms at Warner Bros have faded into obscurity
“I haven’t been able to find the secret,” he shrugs. “I know guys who have a lot more talent than I have who haven’t made it — and others who made it. but haven't stuck around.
“I suppose it's the audience who decides the eventual fate of an actor And I guess I do the kind of thing that the public has found palatable ”
He has found his place in the sun providing the public with usually-lighthearted portrayals in 25 motion pictures, as star of the highly-successful “Maverick” TV series, and in his not-very-suc-cessful video follow-up. “Nichols”.
More of the Garner Tom Sawyer-all-grown-up appeal is on further display with Disney Productions “The Castaway Cowboy” — in which he plays a seafaring wrangler who gets involved with a widow and finds himself ramrodding the first cattle spread in Hawaii
And in September he ll be back once more as a video star, portraying a private investigator in NBC’s ‘‘Rockford Files" series
Public Is Fairest Judge
He has always believed that the public serves as fairest judge of the worth of a property And yet he admits that on more than one occasion he’s been in firm disagreement with audience taste
“I think ‘Skin Game’ was one of till' best pictures I’ve ever made,” he makes the point “Vet it didn’t do as much business as it should have I think the title is what ruined it "
He thinks a combination of factors succeeded in sinking his “Nichols” series after just a one-season outing in 1971 Speaking of the situation comedy which had him playing a sheriff of the early 1900s. he insists, “There was nothing wrong with the show — it was wrong with the network, sponsors and audience
“NBC didn’t think it made a good financial deal and was happy to be rid of ‘Nichols’ The sponsors and the public expected me to do another ‘Maverick’, and I had no intention of doing that One can’t go back to the beginning.”
He proceeds to talk of his “Maverick" beginnings, to make a point of how beautifully things have changed since he warred with Waruer Bros.
Theater Time Schedule for Monday
PARAMOUNT - “Lady Sings the Blues" — 7; “Ser-pico” — 9:40
IOWA — “Mr. Majestyk” — 1:40, 3:40, 5:40. 7:40. 9:40.
WORLD - “That s Knfer-tainment!” — 2, 4:30, 7 . 9:30.
TIMKS — “Easy Rider” — 2. 5:40, 9:35; “The Last Picture Show ” — 3:35, 7:25.
PLAZA — “The Castaway Cowboy” - 6:35, 9:55; “The Absent Minded Professor” — 8:05.
STAGE I — “California Split” - 7:45. 9:50
STAGE 2 - “The Macon County Line” — 7:50. 9:35
EA STOW N I — “Buster and Billie” - 7:30 9 20
EASTOWN 2 - “Billy
Jack” — 7, 9
I. 3, 5, 7, 9
Features at ll.
COLLINS - “Herbie Rides Again” — 8:45; “Dumbo” — 10:30.
TWIXT TOWN - “The Sting” — 9; “Pete'’n’ Tithe” - 11:20.
TWIN WEST - Big Bad Momma” — 8:30; “Stacy and Her Gang Busters” — IO: IO; “The Student Teachers” — 11:35
TWIN EAST - “Easy Rider” — 8:50; “The Last Picture Show ” — IO 40.
STAGE 3 -Sake” - 8. 9:50
to free himself of contraetural bondage.
Lost Money Gained Ulcers
“After I paid the attorneys. I ended up losing money on ‘Maverick’ — and gaining a set of ulcers. But I remember telling the head of the studio that someday Warners would be paying me back more than all they owed me for five years of ‘Maverick’ — and would be paying it in one single day "
That day came when the Garner’s Cherokee Company went into production for "Nichols’’ at Warners — a deal that meant not only millions for Garner, but sweet revenge.
His financial arrangement for “The Rockford Files” is just as sweet, according to Jim. The series is being made as a partnership between Cherokee, Roy Huggins’ Public Arts Co and Universal Studios. with Garner calling the important shots
Some of the shots he considers important to “Rockford” have Garner — instead of a stunt man — at the wheel of a car in daredevil chase sequences That’s important to him, not because of ego — but because of all-important audience response
“It’s so vital to maintain the magic of film," he says. his black eyes showing anger, his voice raising in frustration
“I think studios are stupid to release still pictures showing the public how films ^re made — to give away all our tricks that help to maintain a fascination with the art
Behind The Wheel
“I don't do all my own stunt work in ‘Rockford’, but I’m behind the wheel often enough to establish the fact that I do drive in the chase scenes.
“I’ve always done it that way In ‘Grand Prix’, for instance. there was this one sequence where I was chasing another car around some treacherous roads in the Italian Alps We had a camera strapped to the fender of the other car, so that when that car passed me — at IHI) miles an hour — the camera got a closeup of me behind the wheel There could have been no way to fake that shot — and once that was established.
STAGE 4 - "S*P*V*S”
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Connecting FREE Parking Downtown Cedar Rapids
Russian ‘Musik Kholl’
Packing in the Audiences
James Garnet, pictured above in a scene from “The Castaway Cowboy", has been lucker than most in the acting profession. He doesn’t know the secret behind his success, but he has learned in 20 years “not to worry about my image. Frankly, I don't even know what my image is — and I don't try to find out. I just do what I think is right at the time — and hope it works
out,” he says.
then in the public’s mind it was me driving in flit1 entire picture.”
He has, at age 48, given up race car driving as a hobby, and a chronic back condition caused him to cut down for a while on skiing and golf Hut he says he’s feeling in excellent shape these days as he’s moved hard into production for ‘‘Rockford Files”. The network has committed to buy 15 segments, Jim is confident the show will be picked up for at least 7 more in the coming season, and that he’ll be too busy to even think of other activities for ai least a year Future activities that fascinate him include production of several movies for his Cherokee Co. They also include getting involved with management and promotion of the Lobo Golf club company he’s recently bought in partnership with seven other men Activities he’s not considering for the moment are any get-away-from-it-all vacations, because vacations have never meant all that much to Jim "I consider a lot of the time I work a vacation.” he ob
serves, the infectious Garner grin flashing. “Not many men can say that about their work.”
Doesn't Worry About Image
His work has been lucky for him — luckier than the acting profession is for most. He doesn’t know the secret ‘behind his success, but he has learned in 2(1 years “not to worry about my image. Frankly, I don’t even know what my image is — and I don’t try to find out. I just do what I think is right at the time — and hope it works out.”
ENDS MION! OPEN* DO SHOWS 7:10 At: 2*
So far it’s been working out fine. He’s become an extremely wealthy man. He lives the quiet life he prefers with his wife and their 18-year-old daughter (the older Garner girl, 25-year-old, Kimberly, is a schoolteacher currently living in Aspen, Colorado). And he’s remained one of that refreshing breed of Hollywood actor so secure of his worth that he doesn’t find the need to play star off camera.
The Garner luck — and talent — have taken him far.
Pitchers of Oly
The Emergency Room
4650 Ut Av*. N.I.
By Barry James
MOSCOW (UPI) - Oldfashioned “Musik Kholl is alive and high-kicking in the Soviet Union
Music hall, or variety theater, is this country’s most popular form of light entertainment, with as many as 1.4(H) productions going on every day.
They range from amateurish shows in collective farm social clubs, to slick, fast-paced productions in big city theaters.
Usually, producers try to include something for all members of the family. Variety theater seems popular with teenagers as well as their grandparents.
In Moscow, the summer season at the Hermitage Garden theater attracts a capacity audience of about 1,500 persons every night with a show that includes some of the leggiest and sexiest looking girls in the city, in a Radio City-style chorus line.
For the old folks, there is a corny comic who reminisces about the old days. A beat hand with long-haired youths and the latest Western amplifying equipment keeps the young set happy.
The Hermitage Garden production and others like it provide the audiences with the sort of glitter, glamor and up-to-date fashions usually associated with the West.
High Artist Level
The Moscow show opens with a routine by chorus girls dressed in drum majorette uniforms. The orchestra in the pit is amplified to an car-splitting level by powerful loudspeakers.
At this theater the level of artistry is high. A juggler throws an orange 30 feet in the air and catches it in a billiard net tied to the top of a 20-foot pole balanced on his forehead An emotive Bulgarian singer gets the biggest hand, There are tightrope artists a magician in a glittery white suit and a fast-patter comedian who also sings and dances Hut the Moscow production may Im* an exception According to the newspaper Pravda, Soviety variety theater lacks variety — with too many stale jokes and too few “jolly songs for the young people.”
Pravda has criticized Soviet variety theater for aping Western ways It knocks pop singers who sound like goats and performers who make the same act last a lifetime.
The newspaper suggested a special government department should take over variety theater But for the time being, the shows — good or bad — are packing them in
Senior Citizen Buses
Cedar Rapids System Telephone 363-8244
Area Ten (SEATS)
In Cedar Rapids 398-5605 FJsewhere 800-332-5996
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